Anatomy and Cell Biology

Ronald Weigel, MD, PhD, MBA


Associate Vice President for UI Health Alliance
EA Crowell, Jr Professor and Chair of Surgery
Professor of Surgery  - Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery
Professor of Biochemistry, Anatomy and Cell Biology

Contact Information

Primary Office: 1509 JCP
Iowa City, IA 52242
Primary Office Phone: 319-353-7474



MS, Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MD, Yale University School of Medicine
PhD, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University Graduate School
MBA, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Research Assistant, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
Graduate Student, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
Internship, Duke University Medical Center
Post Doctoral, Fellowship, Department Microbiology/ Immunology, Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC
Residency, Duke University Medical Center

Licensure and Certifications

Iowa Medical License, Iowa Board of Medicine
Certified, Advanced Trauma Life Support
Board Certified, American Board of Surgery

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Biosciences Graduate Program
Department of Biochemistry PhD
Medical Scientist Training Program

Research Summary

The Weigel laboratory has had a long-standing interest in determining mechanisms of hormone response in breast cancer. Our work has identified transcriptional mechanisms that regulate the expression of estrogen receptor- alpha in breast carcinomas. Other areas of investigation have sought to identify genes that are related to hormone response and additional mechanisms of gene regulation that are responsive to estrogen. Current Projects Regulation of ER by AP2 . We identified the AP2? transcription factor as a key regulator of hormone response in breast cancer. We are now examining mechanisms of gene regulation that involve this transcription factor. Chromatin Effects Altering AP2 Activity. We have shown that epigenetic chromatin alterations can influence activity of AP2 at certain promoters. The mechanism appears to involve altered binding of AP2 mediated through chromatin structure. Studies to determine how chromatin structure alters AP2 activity are being pursued. Interaction of AP2 and p53. We demonstrated a direct interaction between AP2 factors and the p53 tumor suppressor. The interaction of p53 and AP2 has functional effects on these two factors that appear to alter hormone response in breast cancer and cell growth in other cancer types. We are investigating the details of this interaction and the functional effects on gene regulation and cell physiology.

Selected Publications

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Spanheimer  P, Woodfield  G, Cyr  A, Kulak  M, White-Baer  L, Bair T, Weigel  R.  Expression of the RET Proto-oncogene is Regulated by TFAP2C in Breast Cancer Independent of the Estrogen Receptor.  Annals of Surgical Oncology .  2012. 

Guidroz J, Larrieux G, Liao J, Sugg S, Scott-Conner C, Weigel R.  Sampling of secondary margins decreases the need for re-excision after partial mastectomy.  Surgery.  2011 October. 150(4):802-9.

Spanheimer P, Sugg S, Lal G, Howe J, Weigel R.  Surveillance and intervention after thyroid lobectomy.  Ann Surg Oncol.  2011 June. 18(6):1729-33.

Calva-Cerqueira  D, Dahdaleh  F, Woodfield  G, Weigel  R, Carr  J, Chinnathambi  S, Howe  J.  Discovery of SMAD4 Promoters, Transcription Factor Binding Sites, and Deletions in Juvenile Polyposis Patients.  Nucleic Acids Research.  2011. 39:5369-5378.

Lal G, Fairchild T, Howe J, Weigel R, Sugg S, Menda Y.  PET-CT scans in recurrent or persistent differentiated thyroid cancer: is there added utility beyond conventional imaging?.  Surgery.  2010 December. 148(6):1082-9; discussion 1089-90.

Calva-Cerqueira D, Dahdaleh F, Woodfield G, Chinnathambi S, Nagy P, Larsen-Haidle J, Weigel R, Howe J.  Discovery of the BMPR1A promoter and germline mutations that cause juvenile polyposis.  Hum Mol Genet.  2010 December 1. 19(23):4654-62.

Woodfield G, Chen Y, Bair T, Domann F, Weigel R.  Identification of primary gene targets of TFAP2C in hormone responsive breast carcinoma cells.  Genes Chromosomes Cancer.  2010 October. 49(10):948-62.

Gollapalli V, Liao J, Dudakovic A, Sugg S, Scott-Conner C, Weigel R.  Risk factors for development and recurrence of primary breast abscesses.  J Am Coll Surg.  2010 July. 211(1):41-8.

Date Last Modified: 06/07/2014 - 21:56:23